Executive Summary: Panel Discussion – The power of coaching – Breaking the glass ceiling for women leaders

Coaching for women leaders


 Richa Sethi

Head-Learning and Org. Development, DEI Lead at Coforge

Hema Mohandas

Global Head- talent Development at Virtusa Consulting

Payal Kaul Mirakhur

Co-Founder and CBO, uExcelerate



 Vivek Vaidyanathan

(Leadership & Executive Coach)


Table of Contents


 “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” -Melinda Gates

Despite facing numerous obstacles and societal barriers, women have broken the glass ceiling in various industries and professions, thus paving the way for future generations to follow in their footsteps. The panel discussion on the importance of coaching in creating women leaders led to a series of thought-provoking conversations that was inspired by the life experiences of three amazing women leaders. The leaders also suggested ways in which coaching not only helped them but could help every aspiring women leader to break the glass ceiling.


Key Takeaways:

How to be a Leader: A personal take

The three women, with their vision, idea and wish to bring people together rose as thought leaders in their spaces. The central point that brought their journey of becoming a coach was an aim to uplift women and encourage an inclusive coaching culture at their organizations. Where Hema believes in providing a leadership pipeline and growing along with her fellow leaders, Richa believes in being the Brahma (the creator) in her space and in lifelong learning and Payal owing to her personal experience of coaching, works with an aim to make coaching mainstream and wishes to bring more women into the working spaces.

How can Coaching help in becoming a leader?

  • The conversations: Talking about the importance of coaching and its benefits is the first step in allowing coaching to help bring out better leaders.
  • Experience: Coaching is an experience, combining the practice with personal aims will help in bringing more leaders
  • Questioning yourself: The coaching process includes asking questions that lead to reframing and revisualizing one’s capabilities.


What are some struggles faced by a Women Leader?

Very few women leaders are seen at the top leadership roles, here are some struggles that they face in climbing the ladder:

  • Readiness quotient: Women are conditioned to be meticulous and they focus more on competencies, which often minimizes their chances to lead.
  • Multiple biases and unrealistic expectations: Women shy out from putting themselves out. This is due to multiple biases and an unrealistic role model for leadership. This can be solved by bringing in more female role models to shatter the idea of charismatic leadership and encourage transformational leadership.
  • Putting up the right questions: In order to unlock immense potential among women, right questions need to be asked in order to start conversations that will lead to the acknowledgement of the true self of an individual.


How can coaching help in overcoming the Imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Here is how coaching can help in overcoming imposter syndrome:

  • Supporting tuning into your feelings and helping an individual to recognize the intensity of self-doubts
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Working with confidence and self-efficacy techniques
  • Working beyond competence
  • Becoming a leader with the most authentic self

How can coaching help in overcoming unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias in the workplace can present significant challenges for women, often hindering their opportunities for advancement and success. Here are some ways in which coaching can help:

  • Using training and coaching to transform the unconscious into consciousness
  • Making leaders active allies to have conversations around biases
  • Including mentorship programmes to train more people at lower leadership roles
  • Communicate empathy effectively
  • Using assessments to identify blind spots to address the system
  • Encouraging feedbacks

How coaching helps in dealing with the Superwoman Syndrome?

Superwoman syndrome refers to a situation when a woman neglects herself in the hopes of doing everything to perfection while also stretching herself thin in the process. Most women leaders are faced with this at different points in their journeys. Ways in which coaching helps women leaders cope with this better are:

  • Finding balance in life
  • Discovering ones limits and finding individual brilliance

To hear in detail about what the panellists said click on this link to watch the whole discussion.


uExcelerate – a Digital Leadership Coaching Platform

If you’re looking to build a coaching culture within your organization, uExcelerate can help.

Our SaaS platform provides customized, holistic solutions to help organizations scale coaching and foster personalized talent development for their employees. Whether you want to develop your coaches internally or hire them externally, uExcelerate is a one-stop solution for all your coaching needs.

Our product offerings include:

APPRAISE- Coaching Culture Maturity Model: This helps the organizations discover the stage of the coaching culture maturity model based on our 7C framework

DISCOVER- Coaching Marketplace: Connect employees to a pool of diversified experienced and certified external coaches for specific requirements in the organization.

SYMPHONYCoaching Platform: Launch on-demand one-on-one and/or group coaching engagement program by onboarding the leaders as internal coaches and employees as coaches.

PACE- Coaching Programs: Leadership development, DE&I Mental well-being, high-performance acceleration, Leader as coach program. Under DE&I we have a programme for  Executive Coaching for women Leaders.  Diversity, equity, and inclusion coaching equips women leaders of all levels and departments with the tools to effectively collaborate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. The program aims to develop their DE&I managing skills, foster mutual support, and establish a secure, empathetic, and inclusive work environment that acknowledges and values the contributions of all team members. The programme focuses on tackling all the obstacles for women leaders.

uExcelerate works to combine all these products to bring you an out-and-out solution to help you build your coaching culture in your organization.


Kanika Gupta

Kanika Gupta